Elementary campus levy placed on fall ballot

Valerie Urbanik | Oberlin News-Tribune

The Oberlin board of education unanimously agrees to put a 4.75-mill levy on the November 2015 ballot.

A $16.75 million bond issue to build a new elementary campus was given the go-ahead vote Tuesday by the Oberlin board of education and will be placed on the November ballot.

The 4.75-mill measure, if approved, would help pay for construction of a 52,000-square-foot building located near Oberlin High School’s southern parking lot.

It would cost $166.32 per year for every $100,000 worth of property you own.

The two-story building would combine students from Eastwood and Prospect elementaries and include an outdoor classroom, a playground, bike paths, photovoltaic arrays on the roof, reconstruction of Hovey Lane off East Lorain Street, and moving the athletic fields to the north side behind the high school.

It would be completed within three years of voter approval and could save the district an estimated $500,000 per year.

The district has had a strong levy support from Oberlin voters in the past. They have backed seven of the eight levies that the school district has placed before them in the last decade.

The only levy denied was a 1.9-mill continuous permanent improvement levy in May 2007, which would have funded any item that will last more than five years.

Voters have approved three permanent improvement levies, two education technology levies, an emergency levy, and a current expense levy that targeted property taxes and was dropped after five years.

The school district has collected roughly $2.9 million from its PI levies, about $1.5 million from the education technology levy, and the emergency levy collected roughly $3.8 million.

Oberlin City Schools also benefits every time the city has sought approval for an income tax. Three have been approved since 2005 and the district has collected roughly $28 million, which does not exclude fees taken out by the state.

Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.